Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A Bicycle Love Story

I don't know how to ride a bicycle. Ever since I fell and had my whole right leg scratched and bleeding when a friend tried to teach me when I was in fifth grade, I didn't attempt to learn anymore … until I was in college. 

our very first tandem bike ride
More than 20 years ago, another friend attempted to teach me to bike. I guess my fear of falling and hurting myself again prevented me from pursuing the skill despite his encouragement.

Fast forward to when that particular friend and I have already been married for two decades and I still don't know how to ride a bike. I'm ok being his motorcycle passenger but I don't have any illusions of being able to drive one by myself.

two of our sons having no problem balancing
According to my husband, one of his bucket lists is to ride a tandem bike with me so I can at least feel what it's like to ride a bike. I find it impractical to buy one so that wish was shelved for a long time. 

Last year, I got invited to a bloggers’ day tour in Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park in Kawit, Cavite. The resort has bicycles for rent. Hubby got excited when I showed him a photo of the tandem bike they have there and vowed that we would someday ride it together. 

the look of a doubtful student :p
That day arrived last weekend when we booked a hotel stay at Island Cove. We have actually already checked out when he insisted we pass by the bike rental booth. "Just one hour, Mom," he pleaded.

After paying the P200 rental fee, we finally got to ride the tandem bike alternating with two of our sons. I found sitting on the narrow seat really uncomfortable and gave up after pedaling behind him around the resort. 

discovery: learning to bike on grass is hard!
The boys eventually also got tired of riding together so we requested to switch to a regular bike. Hubby and the boys took turns riding it. 

Before the hour is up, hubby urged me to try again and learn to bike. I was doubtful I would learn but agreed as long as we stay on the grassy park. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find my balance and he insisted we transfer to the cemented road.

listening to instructions
Once there, he had me put both my feet up and just try to stay upright while he guided the bike from behind. After a few minutes, he told me to try and pedal again.

I found it very frustrating to keep the bike on a straight path because it kept wobbling under my body. I also felt bad hearing my husband catching his breath (given that he had a slight fever the night before) from all the exertions of holding the bike and running behind me as we went back and forth the parking area. 

getting the hang of the balancing act
Somehow, after a lot minutes have passed, I seemed to gain more control of the bike but was very confident that I wasn't falling because hubby was holding the seat behind me …

Until I saw him running alongside the bike and clapping his hands saying, “Go Mommy! Go Mommy!” That made me panic and I almost fell! I am so glad he was there to catch me! 

going for another attempt
I looked over our second son who was taking photos of us and saw him grinning from ear to ear, mirroring the huge smile on his dad’s face. 

Who would have thought?! I learned to ride a bike without anybody holding it! I need a lot more practice though because I have no idea yet how to turn corners or start riding without hubby balancing me first. 

my coach and number one cheerleader clapping his hands in glee
The next days and weeks would probably tell if I'll really be good at this or not. Since his mountain bike is too big and heavy for me, we’re planning to rent a smaller bike around the Filinvest area several times first before considering buying one that I can ride from home. Let's see. 

For now, let me encourage those of you who also have “riding a bike by myself” in your bucket lists. As I found out for myself, you're never too old to learn. You just need someone you trust to take care of you and patiently teach you until you can ride on your own. 

baby steps! :)
I guess a big factor in my learning curve is having that full confidence in my husband that he would do everything he can to prevent me from getting hurt while I am still taking those "baby steps."  

Soon, I hope I can finally add “biking” to the list of life skills I have :)

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